Sunday, November 25, 2012

it is what it is

It is what it is. Things are only OK or not OK because of your perception. Put your filter aside and it is only what it is and nothing more or less.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Really into watercolors lately. Never really had an interest until recently. They are just so low maintenance; easy cleanup and portable. I did these yesterday and today. There are others I did a few weeks ago that I'll post later. I'm just getting the hang of it. Mostly it's something I do while watching a movie. They're mostly just practice, but I'm really enjoying the process.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I can't believe that shit was eleven years ago. I was 18 and in art school. Drawing class. During break. I passed a TV and stopped. I was so naive I barely knew what it meant. I walked back to class in a daze. My first impulse was to shout it to the teacher and classmates, but something stopped me. Instead I decided to watch them all in their last moments of not knowing. Their last moments of living in a pre-9/11 world. I watched sadly. Then 5 minute s later another classmate ran in and announced it. The teacher was in disbelief: "What?! No. No. Are you serious?" A bewildered expression on his face. Finally he let as all go.

And time marches on.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So I hung my art show yesterday. Took maybe an hour, quick and painless. I lucked out because this just sort of fell in my lap. Beginner's luck I guess? I'm friends with the guy who owns the art store on facebook, he sees all the paintings I post, and he invited me to have an art show.

I see this as practice for the future. I've invited all these people I care about because I just want the support. I find it hard to really believe it's that big of a deal, but I wanted lots of people to come out and see my stuff. Now I have family coming from hours away to the opening reception, and I almost wanna backtrack and be like, "Wait! It's not worth a 4-hour drive!! This is not a fancy occasion or anything, it's just the art store in small-town Willimantic!" Don't get me wrong, I'm over the moon to have this opportunity. But people, this ain't Chelsea.

But mostly I've surrendered to it. I feel pretty good about what I put in. I worked hard for it (I could've worked harder, but I guess one could always work harder). I'm not so nervous about it anymore. It's out of my hands. It is what it is.

I intend for this to be just the beginning. I lucked out with this just coming to me, but now I gotta put in work to find calls for artists and scope out gallery spaces in nearby towns or cities close by like Hartford or Providence or even Boston. Even if they're just cafes.

Most of all I intend to keep on producing. It has to be my mantra. Produce, produce, produce.....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ashlyn and Isabel

My childhood friend Carrie, who along with her brother lived across the street from me when we were kids, now lives in Arizona, got married last year, and had twin girls who were born prematurely in February. They've been having all kinds of problems and I keep up by reading her blog and checking up on facebook. She recently snapped a photo of the girls with her cell phone, and I fell so in love with this particular photo that I messaged her and asked if I could paint it, and then just mail it to her. She teared up and said of course I could.

I started it yesterday and finished today.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Kicking it into high geer

Vanessa and Ashley, my friends who are identical twins

So I gotta bring my paintings over to the art store where I'm showing at the end of this month. I'm working on three paintings between now and then. I just banged this one out in a matter of hours. It's funny how some take way longer than others. I had started another one before this, then decided to move on and get a start on this one and just ended up finishing it too. Now I gotta go back and finish the first one. And start the last one.

I've been working in the studio all during my weekends and squeezing in time before and after work too. Not only that but I have all these other obligations (gotta dog/house sit for someone in a couple weeks) and invitations (bbq's, birthday parties, etc etc) and I am pretty overwhelmed. This art show though is my first priority. I sincerely wish I had all the time in the world to be able to accommodate every opportunity that ever comes my way but it's just not like that for me right now.

All I can say is, I CANNOT WAIT for vacation in a little over a month. I don't think I've ever needed one this badly in my life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Feeling better this week! Gonna be starting several paintings at once this week if I wanna get a move-on! Can't wait to get back to the studio and into my oil paints...

I'm glad I was born with a built-in sense of guilt and anxiety if I haven't been painting in a while. HA!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life Without Painting Class

Well hello there, all my legions of readers.

It's my second week in to "summer vacation."  Life feels incredibly more laid back, even though I still work a full-time schedule.  So laid back even, that my body decided that this was a prime opportunity to get sick. So I had a fever for a couple days and missed work. But even though the fever went away a few days ago, I am still faintly congested, and I have never been more exhausted in my life. Really, I cannot remember ever feeling this tired and I'm not exaggerating. Mentally I'm great; I'm looking forward to my art show, going away on vacation, and just life being awesome. But physically I'm completely wiped out. I think of all the paintings I need to get finished before July, but my body basically forces me to lay low. I'll get up in the morning after having slept like the dead, make coffee, do a couple things around the house and then after a couple of hours of being up, I just want to go back to bed. It's weird and I want to snap out of it so I can get things done. It's even crossed my mind that what if I have mono? I suppose I'll wait a few days and if I still feel exhausted I'll go to the doctor.

Hopefully by next week I'll feel energized enough to get these things started:

-Commission for a friend
-Painting of the twins
-Sink series

Until then I'm going to listen to my body and rest up.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


so it's the last day of the semester. i feel both a huge sense of relief and a little sad. i think in some ways this has been the best semester, even if it was really challenging overall. i made the most friends and painting class was pretty much just like going to hang out with my friends (teacher included) and paint together.

tomorrow's the opening of the student art show.  we all plan on staying an hour, then going out to this cafe in hartford afterwards. i'm looking forward to it.

this sink painting was my final painting for class. the teacher basically let us go free for the last assignment and i had this idea that i wanted to paint at least one kitchen sink full of dishes. but i think i'm actually going to go ahead and make it a series.

now that it's summer, i get to paint whatever the hell i want. i painted more than a couple of paintings that sucked this semester, mostly because i wasn't too crazy about the topic, or i was tired and didn't give it my all, or whatever. but now that it's summer, i'm excited to paint this portrait of my friends from class who are identical twins. i have a nice, giant canvas to put it on, too. i also have to paint a commission for a friend that's been hanging over my head since january.  i hope to have at least 3 new pieces by july, for my art show that month. i'm just glad to be keeping busy with painting. i want to paint forever.

other than that, life is confusing. i'm unsure about a lot of things. it's good to have this one thing in my life that is a constant, and can come with me, wherever i end up.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

not high art. high on art.

i was just thinking today about that book, i know why the caged bird sings by maya angelou. i was thinking about its title and how profound and beautiful it is. why does the caged bird sing? to make life worth living perhaps....

i read that book once when i was 20. i'll always remember because i was living in southern california at the time, and i was on a bus from los angeles to las vegas. i was going to meet my younger sister, christine, who just arrived at the university of nevada at las vegas, it was the first weekend of her freshman year, and it was orientation time, and no one else from our family besides me could feasibly be there with her. so i took the hours-long bus ride to be with her. i didn't mind one bit. i chalked it up to adventure, another experience to add to my list.

i'll always remember being on that bus for hours and hours, just driving through desert with literally nothing around, and then BAM, arriving in las vegas. you could see las vegas in the far distance, miles away.  all the land was flat with nothing around, so obviously you could see it coming for miles and miles. it was so surreal to be surrounded by nothing for so long, then suddenly to be surrounded by bustling city life, everything there so out of place and odd.  what a surreal fucking city.

and walking around with my sis. it was like walking around in an oven. the heat was almost too much to bear and it was DRY, man. i'd never experienced anything like it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


this semester has been looooooong. but at the same time i can't believe it's almost over. although, at this particular moment in time, i can't believe it's still dragging on and on. i have been ready to be done since the beginning. i think this semester has by far been my most challenging.

the main reason is burn-out. i feel like i haven't had any kind of actual break since last summer. i mean, obviously i had no school during winter break, but it was during that time that i was going through a particularly stressful time at work (one that i'm just now on the verge of recovering from, i feel). i've been pretty lucky, because taking two classes and working full time has been relatively easy to balance, up til now. somehow i've managed to get straight As. but this semester is different.

i gave up the notion that i'd continue my straight A streak a long time ago. my paintings feel mostly uninspired this semester, and there has been more than one occasion where i have to slap an idea together and bang out a painting that i feel apathetic about in order to keep up with the assignments. mostly i'm ok with that, because i don't feel like beating myself up over it is going to do me any good. things aren't going to be smooth sailing 100% of the time and i have to account for hard times. and so i'm giving myself some slack.

but it's interesting, because at the same time, in many ways i feel like this has been a very successful semester. i applied for and got into the juried multi-school student art show for the first time, and i won an award. i hung up a piece i painted this semester in another student art show, and sold it (i'm not sure to whom, which only adds to the excitement--someone who doesn't even KNOW me likes my work). and on top of it all, i have a show coming up in july at the local art store.

the fact that i'm incredibly grateful for all these things somehow doesn't stop the fact that I. AM. TIRED. i cannot wait for the day when i don't have to work or go to school or do ANYTHING i don't feel like doing for more than a couple days. sky and i are planning a vacation in july--usually we like to travel someplace new every summer (this year we're thinking florida where he has friend) but honestly, just hanging out at home and not rushing from point A to point B sounds like a luxury to me.

meanwhile i have to write a draft of a paper about my last painting--and i just CANNOT seem to get myself to just DO it. just psyching myself up to do it is exhausting. but i have to. i have to. COME ON MARICLARE, YOU CAN DO IT.

on that note, i'm going to bed.

Friday, April 20, 2012


it is sort of funny how selling this came to pass. our classmate fernando called sky one day to ask him if he had anything he wanted to put up in a student art show at school that i actually had no idea about, and i happened to be at home on break from work at that moment. sky said no, but that i might, and handed the phone to me. so it was a spur-of-the-moment decision in which i told fernando to hang up my triangle painting. he then asked if there was a price i'd like to sell it for. scrambling for a number in my mind, i said, "how about $200?"

later that day, he sent me a message on facebook basically saying, "how about $300? there's a lot of paint on this and it's really fine work." so i said "sounds good to me!"

about a week later, one of the drawing teachers came and found me and said, "someone is interested in buying your piece. are you willing to bring the price down to $200?"

"sure!" i said.

"any lower than that?"

"...i don't think so. i spent a lot of time and paint on it."

so a week or two went by, and i thought that maybe whoever wanted to buy it lost interested, but it was nice to know at least someone was interested. then the other day, she came up to me again and said it sold for $200! i was thrilled! especially because i think only me and maybe one other person actually sold something in the show.

this leads me to think....hey... the more paintings i do... the more i'll sell! and so i must keep producing. produce, produce, produce.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012



Something I hope people who commission me to paint themselves or their loved ones realize is this: I don't paint people to make them look flawless or beautiful. I paint people to distort them based on their character and to even highlight imperfections. This is why I feel like the people who like my portraits least are the people I've painted. (I don't know this to be fact--but I do suspect it.)
"Beauty" is boring to me. What I personally find beautiful is what makes each of us US. What quirks and flaws we each have. It's beyond me why we try to cover these things up and hide ourselves behind masks. We're all fucking beautiful, and fucking FUCK what society says. OK???

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Portrait Painting

I'm not exactly sure how to even word this. But when I paint people's portraits, I feel like ... like I'm bonding with them in a weird way. It's really creepy actually. Like this has happened with literally every portrait I've painted, where I get into this weird zone where it's just me and this person I'm painting, even though it's from a photo and that person is not actually there with me. I almost get into their head-space. But it's like, wtf? How the hell do I know what's in their head-space? I don't know, but all I can say is that it's like I almost become psychically aware of some other element of this person. Some other mysterious element. It's weird.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

too excited to not post!!!

so the award ceremony for the juried art show at my school took place today. the art show includes pieces from students all over connecticut. i couldn't make it to the awards ceremony because i had to work, but i just found out that i won something!!! i'm not sure what yet, but i heard it was a women's award?? i'll find out more details tomorrow when i'm there.

here's a photo of me with the series i submitted:


Thursday, March 8, 2012

floaty triangles

my life:

-hard edge abstraction assignment. has lead to me painting triangles. 1", 2", 3", 4" in size. different colors. floating, hovering triangles in a plain of mushy, thick off-white oil paint. with shadows. but the painting has been a journey since the beginning. it sounds simple. like pre-school "you want what? hard edge abstraction?! fine i'll just paint triangles." it's been an adventure. let me tell you. first, a messily applied coat of gesso (thanks to sky--i say this firstly because i would never apply gesso sloppily; secondly because if he hadn't applied it in the first place, i believe it would be a far more boring painting. or at least a completely different one). secondly, i spray painted over that a boring hue of blue. thirdly i used stencil i made and applied the triangles with a pencil. BORING! so i made the background super thick to disguise the texture of the gesso. then the triangles came to exist but they had to stand on their own.

-i have a show in july at the art store a block from where i live. i saw the owner today. he said he's been working on publicity and that lots of people should know about it and he also might want me to go on this local tv channel about artists and i guess give an interview? about my show? i think? so that's happening.

-I WISH TO GOD i had more time. i wish i didn't have to spend the majority of my time at some job at the coop. sure i appreciate it. but i'd be lying if i said i didn't also resent it. i sorely wish i could devote most of my time to painting and developing that to be my primary income. it's a constant battle to give yourself the time you need to cultivate your passion. it's a constant battle. i NEED to get more organized.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hard Edge Abstraction

I gotta say I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of doing a "hard-edge abstraction" piece for class. I tend towards gutsy expressionism, letting the paint go where it pleases and laying it on thick gushy in some areas, and thin and drippy and delicate in others, letting the paint take on a life of its own and speak for itself. So when the teacher gave us a lecture on hard-edge abstractionists, and about how meticulous and strategic their paintings are, I was lacking in enthusiasm. I decided to take a minimalist approach instead of a crazy intricate, Frank Stella approach.  And so these floaty, hovering triangles were born. I can't say this painting isn't gutsy in its own way, though. Apparently I have to tone down the background because of how crazy thick I laid it on. And if you see the triangles in person, you'd be able to see how even thicker than the background paint is, so thick that they appear to be their own objects sitting on top of the painting. 

Oh well. As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of expressionism, but you can't take expressionism out of the girl.... or something along those lines.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


 spray paint, stencil, imitation gold leaf, xerox transfer of a gustav klimt painting, and acrylic paint on board.

spray paint, stencil, imitation gold leaf, acrylic paint and a xerox transfer of an egon schiele drawing.

i posted these on facebook and within half an hour people wanted to buy them. i feel like a big-shot. not really though. i've actually been struggling this semester. figure drawing is not easy. i have the same teacher for that class as i've had for most of my painting classes. he's a wonderful teacher and i really value his opinion. so it's sort of a wake-up call to suck at something in his class. 

art really is an ego destroyer when you're in a class with people who are a million times better than you. most of the time it doesn't bother me because i'm just little old me who is there to learn. but i guess it's getting to me slightly right now? otherwise why would i be writing about it? 

whatever. all i know is that making art is a good discipline if you want to remain humble.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

creative purging

hello world. class started today. i'm taking painting for the fourth semester in a row. i might just keep going. i really don't care about anything else at this point, any other art class i need to take to reach my degree. i know it's good to add variety to my skill set, and necessary. but i'm too fixed on painting to want to try anything else. i'm too fixed. i don't want to leave it. i want to keep it close. i'm afraid to let go of it. so i'm sticking with it.

in related news ( i feel like a news anchor when i say that), i went to the wadsworth atheneum in hartford yesterday. IT WAS AWESOME. i went specifically to see patti smith's exhibit of her polaroid photos. i just read her book which was amazing. and that's a whole story in itself. i basically knew almost nothing about patti smith. but there was this strange occurance that involved synchronicity and "coincidences" that aren't really coincidences and shite. this book started popping up in my life when it came out, as it would in many people's lives of course.  but for some reason it spoke to me. it wanted me to read it. or so it seemed. this lasted for months. finally the apex of it all occurred when i was in a used book store in new haven one day right before thanksgiving. i wanted to look for something in particular, but i couldn't think of what. i texted my friend jessie, "what's a good book?" immediately after i sent the text, i remembered the patti smith book, so i went to go look for it. wasn't there. (but this book the art spirit was there which was amazing.) jessie called back about an hour later, long after i had left the book store. she said, "DUDE." then proceeded to tell me that she was reading this book the whole day, thinking of me in particular the whole time because it reminded her of me. of course she says it's just kids by patti smith. so then i respond "DUDE!" and told her my end of the story.

aaaaaanyway, that was a tangent and a half. my point is that i have photos. photos of many things. and that reminds me of something else i wanted to say about my museum trip: THERE'S AN ALICE NEEL THERE. it's a "new acquisition" so it wasn't there before. in case you don't know, alice neel IS MY FAVORITE PAINTER. i've never seen any of her paintings in person. i stood in front of it for a good 15 minutes, moved near to tears. i felt such awe and joy that i wanted to take it off the wall and hug it. instead i hugged it with my eyes (HA!).

the alice neel painting. siiiiiiigh

this was in the "comments" section of the museum.  there was a table and chairs and some colored pencils and you could make a comment. i LOVED this one on the bottom that some kid named noemie did. so i tried to emulate it above. ever since, i've come to the realization that i want badly to draw like a child.

so i went home and this is what happened.